n we went home. On the way up to his room he paused at the scullery. A dishevelled woman was tidying up.
"Mrs. Housekeeper," said he, "allow me to present you our new scullion pupil. Kindly instruct him in his duties, feed him and wash his head. Also please remember that he answers to the name of Asticot."
He swung on his heel and went downstairs humming a tune. I remained with Mrs. Housekeeper who carried out his instructions zealously. I can feel the soreness on my scalp to this day.
Thus it fell out that I quitted the maternal roof and entered the service of Paragot. I never saw my mother again, as she died soon afterwards; and as my brood of brothers and sisters vanished down the diverse gutters of London, I found myself with Paragot for all my family; and now that I have arrived at an age when a man can look back dispassionately on his past, it is my pride that I can lay my hand on my heart and avow him to be the best family that boy ever had.
A well-written novel about a man who's different from others: more eccentric, more honest, more philosophical. He doesn't fit in and exaggerates his eccentricity with a disheveled appearance and loud manners. He's an alcoholic. Nevertheless, he has two loyal friends, actually people he picked up and took care of, who worship the ground he walks on. A woman to whom he was once engaged enters the story...but now she's married to a count.
The Beloved Vagabond is a masterpiece. I am a big fan of romance novels written in this era, they are lighthearted and guarantee you a happy ending. William Locke will sometimes twist his stories making it hard to guess, and sometimes has endings which are NOT the marriage of “rich young attractive” people, but a happy ending all the same.
This book also had several references to people and terms of the 1800s. They weren’t necessary to know for the story, but I learned a lot of interesting things looking some of them up. There are also a few great quotes I took note of.